Gender equality and Macroeconomics (GEM) Project

GADN is very pleased to have been commissioned by the Bretton Woods Project to contribute to their project on gender equality and macroeconomics (GEM).  The project will look at the way in which current macroeconomic policies, particularly those promoted by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, undermine gender equality.  Working with allies globally, the project also encourages decision-makers to promote better alternative policy.

Within the project, GADN will be contributing to the work on the interrelationship between gender and macroeconomics, and leading on some of the work with the Department for International Development around this.  We are not planning on becoming International Financial Institutions (IFI) experts, and will be leaving the analysis and influencing of IFI policy and practice to the experts at the Bretton Woods Project.

GADN has released the following publications as part of the GEM Project:

1. Making the case for macroeconomics in gender equality work

This briefing argues that true empowerment begins with tackling the structural barriers that women face, and that this means turning our attention to macroeconomics and its impact on gender equality and women's rights.

2. Breaking down the barriers: Macroeconomic policies that promote women’s economic equality

This briefing argues that the achievement of women’s economic equality and empowerment (WEE) is pivotal to the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights, yet it has received inadequate attention to date. When WEE has been discussed, too often it is in relation to generating economic growth rather than gender equality and the fulfilment of women’s rights.

3. Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work: recommendations to governments

Ahead of the 61st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), the Gender & Development Network has developed a factsheet which provides an overview of the structural economic barriers to women’s economic empowerment. For each of these areas, the factsheet makes recommendations to governments.

4. Stepping up: How governments can contribute to women’s economic empowerment

Government economic policy shapes women’s lives, and could be a force for equality, yet too often this potential is not realised.  In Stepping up, we argue that governments must play a central role in achieving women’s economic empowerment; that their priority should be to tackle the underlying barriers to economic empowerment, particularly those faced by marginalised women; and that it is in the area of economic policy that government action will have most transformative impact.

5. Sharing the load: Unpaid care work and women’s economic empowerment

Unpaid care work, performed mostly by women around the world, is a key piece of the empowerment puzzle: it entrenches the subordination of women in society but, at the same time, it is indispensable for economic growth and human wellbeing. In Sharing the load, we outline key recommendations to governments around unpaid care work.

6. Corporate power and women's economic justice - results from a joint webinar and recommendations for CSW61

On 28 February 2017, GADN, AWID and their allies formulated key steps for limiting the power of transnational corporations to infringe on women’s rights – and supporting economic justice for women everywhere.

7. Making trade work for gender equality

This briefing discusses concerns around the impact of the current global trade regime on gender equality and concludes with recommendations on how to develop trade agreements that promote gender equality.

8. What needs to change to make trade policy work for gender equality?

On 13 December 2017, GADN and Oxfam came together with experts working on women’s rights, development economics, climate justice and globalisation, to discuss the current impacts of trade on women, and propose ways in which trade policy and agreements must change in order to ensure that they support, instead of threaten, gender equality and women’s rights.

9. Gender equality and macro-level economics: recommendations for action

GADN has written elsewhere of the need for transformation in the design of macro-level economic policies if gender equality and women’s rights are to be achieved. In conjunction with our partners globally, GADN has now developed a set of specific recommendations on some of the changes necessary.

10. Realising women's rights: the role of public debt in Africa

This GADN briefing, written by Dinah Musindarwezo, outlines how public debt and its servicing are a particular problem for the African continent, undermining the ability of governments to meet their commitments on gender equality and the promotion of women’s rights.

11. How social protection, public services and infrastructure impact women’s rights

In this briefing, cobranded with FEMNET, we look at the ways that social protection, public services and infrastructure interact with women’s rights and gender equality. We conclude that governments should maximise their available resources for spending in these three areas, which can be powerful tools for gender equality and women’s rights when implemented in an integrated gender-responsive and transformative way.

12. Can public-private partnerships deliver gender equality?

This briefing, written in partnership with Eurodad and FEMNET, explores how public-private partnerships (PPPs) have been widely promoted to help countries finance meeting the SDGs, despite a growing body of evidence that challenges the capacity of PPPs to deliver gender equality and other social goals.

The Bretton Woods Project has also published the following briefings as part of the GEM Project:

1. Gender-Just Macroeconomics; Engaging the IMF and World Bank

This booklet is a civil society guide to why macroeconomics is important for gender equality, how the IMF and World Bank shape global macroeconomic policy, and most importantly how civil society can engage with these powerful institutions for gender justice.

2. The IMF and Gender; A Critical Analysis

This briefing argues the sustainability of the Fund's new approach to gender equality is in question and reveals that the Fund's analysis so far is limited and inconsistent with the full achievement of gender equality.

3. The IMF, Gender Equality and VAT

This briefing by Mae Buenaventura of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development explores the gender dimensions of the IMF’s key fiscal policy advice on resource mobilisation in developing countries, in particular on Value-Added Tax (VAT).

4. The IMF, Gender Equality and Expenditure Policy

This briefing by Kate Donald and Nicholas Lusiani of the Center for Economic and Social Rights provides a brief assessment of the changing role of the International Monetary Fund (“IMF” or “the Fund”) with regards to one key fiscal consolidation measure: contractions in public expenditure.

5. The IMF and Gender Equality: A Compendium of Feminist Macroeconomic Critiques

The authors of this volume contend that the true fulfilment of women’s rights and the achievement of substantive gender equality, as well as a more equal society for all, begin with tackling structural, intersectional barriers faced by women, making macroeconomic policy a crucial arena where systemic inequalities are entrenched and therefore where truly transformative policies and programmes can uproot these disparities.

6. The IMF, Gender Equality and Labour

This briefing by Martha Alter Chen and Rachel Moussié of Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) explores the IMF’s approach to labour market policies, in particular to female labour force participation, in the context of women in the informal economy.

7. The World Bank’s role in crafting a neoliberal hegemony with a feminist face

This analysis argues that the World Bank’s recent approach to gender equality constitutes an attempt at establishing a consensus over the regulation of the economy; a tempered version of neoliberalism that carries a feminist face.

You can find out more about the Bretton Woods Project's side of the GEM Project here.